In the eastern province of Zambia, in the Chadiza district, Thomas Mule was riding his bicycle. His smooth, dark skin was glistening from the heat of the sun. You would not know it by his looks, but he had been pedaling for close to two hours up the rather steep, rocky incline of the deforested mountain. You see, it was a Tuesday afternoon, and on Tuesdays, Thomas had a special appointment with the Chikwanda family.
When Thomas arrived at the top of the mountain, he leaned his bicycle against a small, thatched house with metal sheets for a roof. It had been a long day for Thomas. He had risen early with the sun to tend to the tall-growing maize; the soft, fuzzy soybean bushes; and the unruly chickens in his backyard. Despite the weariness in his bones, Thomas was committed to sharing the gospel. After all, this was his favorite way to spend time.
Mrs. Chikwanda directed him to sit on their large couch, which took up most of the space in the narrow, dimly lit front room. As times before, he greeted Mr. and Mrs. Chikwanda and their three children as he pulled out a set of Light Bearers’ Truth Link Bible study guides to begin his one-and-a-half hours teaching this friendly family about Jesus.
Mr. Chikwanda was a primary school teacher in the local village. Several months earlier, he met Thomas in town and found the small set of study guides that Thomas shared with him appealing. The two lessons that piqued his curiosity were about the war in heaven and resting in Christ after death. Intrigued, he invited Thomas to study with his family, but it was Mrs. Chikwanda who began to fall deeply in love with Jesus through the truth Thomas was sharing. She was always so eager to listen to him read the next lesson.
…the holy water she was paying a high price for was not so holy after all.
Mrs. Chikwanda had always been a spiritual woman. She was in tune with the fact that there is a higher power. She regularly visited the local self-proclaimed prophets in her rural village and would pay 150 Zambian kwacha (approximately nine dollars) to receive a blessing and holy water. The prophets assured her that the holy water would protect her family, keep them healthy, and ﬁnancially enrich them. Living oﬀ the meager income of their small farm, this was a lot of money for their family. However, Mrs. Chikwanda believed it was for the best and that it would repay her in the future. She ﬁlled her husband’s bath with the holy water and sprinkled the remaining throughout the house, inviting the blessings the prophets promised her.
Yet, something stirred inside Mrs. Chikwanda’s heart as she listened to Thomas read the Truth Link lessons each week. If God is a God of love and a relational being, then He desired an intimate relationship with her! She began to realize that the holy water she was paying a high price for was not so holy after all. She proclaimed to Thomas the truth that was settling in her heart, “Only Jesus can protect my family and me.” Instead of putting her trust in the water, she began putting her trust in God. Do you know what happened? A heavy weight lifted oﬀ of her shoulders, and, for the ﬁrst time, she began to experience peace from knowing that Jesus will take care of her and her family.
Eventually, Mrs. Chikwanda boldly confessed to her husband and Thomas, “I need to be baptized.” However, her husband was still doubting and did not want his wife to make a hasty decision. To honor her husband, Mrs. Chikwanda delayed getting baptized.
However, she did start attending a local Seventh-day Adventist church with her children. Her eldest child, a ten-year-old girl, rivaled her in her newfound love for Jesus. This little girl is, as Thomas says, “the most deliberate about going to church.” She loves to learn more about Jesus and sing praises to Him.
Each week, Thomas continues to faithfully visit this sweet family of ﬁve, read the study guides and the Bible, and answer their questions. There is a phrase in Chewa, the language predominately spoken in the region, that says “pang’ono pango’ono,” meaning slowly, slowly. Thomas knows the importance of allowing God to soften each individual’s heart so they can accept Him as their Savior in His time.
Eventually, Mrs. Chikwanda decided to get baptized. She could no longer wait for her husband. Although he still doubts, she does not. She conﬁdently told Thomas, “My husband will be following me.”
She could no longer wait for her husband. Although he still doubts, she does not.
Thomas is a Bible worker from Riverside Farm, where he learned how to evangelize his community (at Riverside, the Bible workers are called pioneer workers). Riverside Farm and Light Bearers have been in partnership for years with the united goal of spreading the gospel throughout the large, land-locked country. Truth Link, a set of 27 Bible study guides that takes readers through Bible doctrine while showcasing God’s love in every truth, is produced by Light Bearers, shipped across the ocean, and distributed throughout Zambia by pioneer workers like Thomas.
As you know, when you fall in love with Jesus, you can’t keep that to yourself. Your whole being is ﬁlled with the overwhelming desire to share the good news with others. For Mrs. Chikwanda, that love inclines her to share with her neighbors and friends about the truth found in the Bible and invite them to church. For Thomas that love is put into action by riding miles on his bicycle to lead Bible studies using Truth Link in rural villages around his district. For Light Bearers, that love has created a mission to print Bible study guides in multiple languages. Why? Because we believe in the power of equipping Bible workers all around the world to spread the gospel. You are the one who makes this mission possible. Thank you for sharing your resources so that people like Thomas can share with people like Mrs. Chikwanda about the love of Jesus. Together, let’s keep spreading the light.
Alyssa has her degree in International Development. She creates content and tells stories for nonprofits that work with refugees and vulnerable people living in Africa. When she is not traveling, Alyssa enjoys gardening, big family meals, chocolate chip cookies, and hiking in the Oregon forest with her husband.